Recfishwest’s Position on the Mandatory Wearing of Lifejackets whilst Fishing from Rocks –
Education Not Legislation
Recfishwest does not support legislation mandating the use of lifejackets while fishing from rocks. We believe education offers greater long term positive safety outcomes than legislation.
Recfishwest are champions of fishing safety having a strong track record of activities aimed at keeping fishers safe. We believe everyone should return home safe after a day’s fishing. Recfishwest strongly advocate that those who fish from exposed rocky shorelines should wear appropriate lifejackets, nevertheless we believe the choice to wear a lifejacket when fishing from the rocks should remain that of individual fishers.
WA has extensive and highly diverse coastal locations and a large range of conditions where fishing occurs. We believe well informed fishers are in the best position to make decisions about their own personal safety.
A blanket approach enforcing mandatory lifejackets upon those who choose to fish from rocks is inappropriate and implementation of any mandatory program would be problematic. In jurisdictions where the use of lifejackets when fishing from rocks has been mandated perverse outcomes placing fishers at greater risk has resulted. Educating the fishing public about the advancements of new slimline lifejackets and empowering them to make informed decisions offers greater long term positive safety outcomes than legislation.
Recfishwest along with community and government partners work hard to educate fishers through the provision of quality safety information aimed at changing behaviour. This information allows people to make better decisions. Education is supported with improved access to fishing safety equipment such as Angel Rings (Life Rings), Rock Anchor Points (Rock Bolts) and free-loan slimline lifejackets at high risk locations.
Recfishwest believes fishers must ultimately take responsibility for their own personal safety.
Recfishwest will continue to promote safe fishing practises and provide the community with the right tools and information to make an informed decision so they can return home safe.